Tag Archives: Australia

Hollywood films drive Australian library book tastes

“Hollywood is driving library borrowing habits like never before – and Australian authors without film-book tie-ins are struggling to find a mass readership.With the film version starring Emily Blunt soon to be released, British writer Paula Hawkins’ novel of a vanished wife, The Girl on the Train, has topped the list of most borrowed library books in Australia and New Zealand for the past 12 months.Overseas crime thrillers from James Patterson, Patricia Cornwall, John Grisham and four from Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series also dominated the top 20 list of best borrowed books.” (via SMH)

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Dangerous books behind lock and key: Exploring Australia’s hidden library collections

“Beyond the rows of shelves in many of Australia’s libraries you can find ancient magic tricks, books on euthanasia and secret family histories — if you know what to ask for.But at the National Library of Australia (NLA), in a padlocked room known as a giftschrank, lies the country’s biggest collection of completely off-limits materials.While it might seem odd in the age of the internet, the location of the room cannot be revealed.It contains more than 200 books deemed not appropriate for public access, including unauthorised biographies, true crime and guides to euthanasia.” (via ABC News)

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National Library funding cuts to have ‘grave impact’ with 22 staff set to lose jobs

“Earlier this month it was revealed a number of national cultural institutions were looking at reducing staff numbers as they face $20 million in cuts from the Federal Government’s efficiency dividend.The library is the first institution to release an official number of jobs to be cut from its 415 full-time staff.During Senate Estimates it was revealed the library was considering axing up to 10 jobs, but the number has grown since recent management meetings.” (via ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation))

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State Library makes public up to 70,000 never-seen photos of Melbourne and country Victoria

“The State Library of Victoria has begun to make publicly available a massive archive of historical photographs being described as the Google Street View of the 1970s. For 40 years the library had 2,000 rolls of film sitting in storage containing up to 70,000 photographs of Melbourne streetscapes and historical country towns. Library Services Director Jo Ritale said most of the photos have never been seen. “People love Google Street View and this is kind of like Google Street View in the 1970s,” she said.” (via ABC)

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State Library of Victoria given $5 million in rare books

“A late Melbourne QC’s rare English book collection, estimated to be worth more than $5 million, has been given to the State Library of Victoria. The 5000 works, mostly from the 15th to 18th century, were collected over 46 years by barrister, physicist and bibliophile John Emmerson, who died last year aged 76. In his will, he asked that his personal library, which lined five rooms at his South Yarra mansion, remain intact, in a Melbourne institution.” (via SMH)

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New York helps sort Queensland’s digital history

“The State Library of Queensland is getting members of the public to help make its digital photos, newspaper articles and diaries more accessible online as part of the Pitch In! program. Volunteers are set tasks such as adding information to photos and transcribing newspaper articles that make up the library’s online digital collection. Margaret Warren is the co-ordinator of discovery services and says people are involved from as far as New York and Ireland.” (via ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation))

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Old telephone phone booths get new life as libraries

“TWO Czechs have breathed new life into telephone booths made obsolete in the mobile phone age, converting them into mini libraries with the first one installed at a Prague hospital on Thursday. On the shelves of the red booth, patients of the IKEM hospital will find a plethora of genres, including works by US crime writer John Grisham, Czech and Russian titles and biographer Andrew Morton’s Diana: Her True Story. Library mastermind Monika Serbusova, 27, said she and a friend drew inspiration from a similar project in Britain.” (via News.com.au)

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State Library of NSW and Wikipedia unite in Australia’s first GLAM residency

“Wikipedia is set to experience a dramatic increase in Australian content with the State Library of NSW becoming the first Australian cultural institution to engage a GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) Wikipedian-in-residence. According to Alex Byrne, NSW State Librarian & Chief Executive: “There’s limited Australian content on Wikipedia compared to USA and Europe, and we want to provide more. The Wikipedian-in-residence will enable local knowledge to be more easily accessible on one of the world’s most popular websites.” (via IFLA)

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The Great Purge of Our Libraries

Quadrant Online – “When I was an undergraduate my tutor used to look through the lecture list to see what was worth attending. “Oh, no, he’s no good. Oh, no, you wouldn’t get much out of that. No, I don’t think you’d want to waste time there,” he would say, adding, “I think you’d best just go along to the library.” For years I felt that, awful as they have become, universities still provided a base for literature, history, knowledge. Continuities were transmitted. History was preserved. Even when the teaching faltered the library was there. The books provided their own record. And now they are being thrown out. The destruction of libraries currently under way marks a new era of thought control. It is a widespread phenomenon in the developed world, and Australia is dutifully conforming.”

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Google weighs into internet filter debate

Digital Media – “Google has added it’s voice to the chorus of dissent against the Federal Government’s proposed mandatory internet filters. Google had already baulked at the Communication Minister Stephen Conroy’s assertion that it should do more to censor YouTube videos. However in a posting on Google Australia Blog, the company has outlined a submission it has made to the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.”

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